Director Rick Mathews on 3D Printed Guns

7 May, 2013

ALBANY -- "It is used for one shot, maybe two shots," said Rick Mathews, University at Albany Homeland Security expert.

The plastic gun can be made at home using a 3D printer. You don't need a background check to buy one of these printers you only need a couple thousand bucks.

"There is a reason to have concern, not alarm, but concern," said Mathews. The dictionary definition of a gun is a weapon incorporating a metal tube from which bullets, shells, or other missiles are propelled by explosive force. These plastic guns still have metal components, but the fear is soon the metal won't be needed.

But will the laws have to change to include plastic weapons?

"If the intent of the weapon is to fire a round and sound like a gun, then it should be a gun," said Mathews.

Sheriff Craig Apple is concerned that law enforcement will need to prepare this new threat.

"My fear would be that it would continue to get inhanced where maybe you wouldn't need that metallic barrell. What if you could get only one round off? That one round could be fatal enough," said Apple.

The definition of the gun may be changing and ammendments to the Safe Act will likely follow. Mathews thinks law enforcement officials may have to monitor who buys these printer.

"Somewhere down the road we may want to look at who buys these printers and track that too," said Mathews.

Source: CBS6 Albany